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Sailor Seeks Horse Huldufolk Chardonnay 2021

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    This tiny vineyard is one of Australia’s most southerly located in the Huon valley in southern Tasmania. So to the name, where does that come from? There was a handwritten sign on the wall at the Red Velvet Lounge in Cygnet, our local coffee and cake respite from the Tasmanian weather. It said, “Sailor Seeks Horse” and went on to explain that the author had sailed solo around the world and ridden across the US from coast to coast and back again…on a mule. He’d then decided he wanted to travel around Tasmania by horse but didn’t have one. So, was there anyone who would lend him one? If they didn’t have a horse then a pony would do. It was an idea that resonated with us. Here we were, trying to do something a little bit crazy, without much money and requiring a little bit of help to get to where we wanted to be.

    Paul and Gilli Lipscombe own the vineyard and make the wines and both have considerable vineyard and winemaking experience behind them including winning the Jimmy Watson trophy for Home Hill where they have been the winemakers in recent years. From working together in the Languedoc to New Zealand, Oregon and Margaret River they spent a lot of time researching and considering the best possible vineyard site with the aim  to produce Australia’s best Pinot Noir and Chardonnay finally settling on this ideal north facing vineyard which is sheltered from the prevailing south-westerly winds. Best described as a warm site within a cool climate, the soil is free-draining quartz inflected mudstone soil over clay. The vineyard is planted to a large variety of Dijon clones as well as numerous other clones planted by the previous owners and all vineyard work is done as organically as possible. In 2019 a new planting including some Trousseau has been made on the steep north-west facing slope beside the main vineyard block.

    The word 'Huldufolk' translates to 'hidden people' in Icelandic, this will be the label where they bottle their hidden gems. This release is extremely limited, with only a very small amount of bottles made. Whole bunch pressed straight to oak, 15 months in barrel, 50% new, unfined – saline but allied with depth, texture, generosity.

    This is an exceptional chardonnay. It’s elegant, powerful, lengthy and more. It tastes of crushed fennel and white peach, nectarine and custard powder, though it also boasts flint and riverstone characters. There are some estery notes on the nose, which then lead into those fennel notes, and perhaps towards cracked wheat as well. All this would be enough but it also has quite wonderful texture, like velvet on rocks. The length of the finish – edged with grapefruit – is the final sealer. The quality of this wine is right up there but, besides, it’s simply a beautiful wine to drink. - Campbell Mattinson, The Wine Front, 95 Points.

    The Finer Details
    Style - White Wine
    Varietal -  Chardonnay
    Country - Australia
    Region - Tasmania 
    Vintage - 2021
    Bottle Size - 750ml
    ABV - 13%